David O’Brien is an 2022-2023 Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of privacy, cybersecurity, regulation and governance, surveillance, and national security.
David currently teaches Information Security Law & Policy at Northeastern University’s School or Law, where is also a faculty affiliate at Northeastern’s Center for Innovation, Law, and Creativity. Additionally, he serves a Research Fellow at the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Social Science at Boston University, where his current research explores the statutory, normative, and ethical questions surrounding the use of emerging privacy-preserving techniques, including secure multi-party computation. David’s work has been featured in The New York Times, the MIT Technology Review, Just Security and numerous academic journals. He has served on expert working groups on cybersecurity and encryption policy for the Aspen Institute, the World Economic Forum, and the East West Institute, among others.
From 2009-2021, he led research projects on the Berkman Klein Center's staff, serving most recently as the Assistant Research Director for Privacy and Security. David was a recipient of the Dean's Award for Excellence at Harvard Law School in 2016 and a co-recipient of the Caspar Bowden Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies in 2019. Outside of the Berkman Klein Center, David was a co-founding editor and co-host of Technically Legal, a podcast which analyzed Internet caselaw and litigation in the news. The podcast ran from 2009-2012, retiring after publishing more than 110 episodes.
Before joining the Berkman Klein Center in 2009, David advised clients on matters involving technology and the law. He earned a J.D. from Northeastern University’s School of Law, where he served on the Northeastern University Law Review staff, and a B.S. in Economics & Business Administration. While in law school, David held positions in the Copyright, Trademark, New Media & Entertainment practice group at Fish & Richardson in Boston, at Inverness Medical Innovations’ in-house legal department, and with the Hon. Judith Dein at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
You can find David on Twitter at https://twitter.com/d_obrien.